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Third Person Hack 'n' Slash Games


acidbearboy
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Nothing springs to mind pre-PS2, but there's certainly been no shortage of them since. The biggies are probably Koei's Dynasty Warriors series and spin-offs, God of War and Devil May Cry. Castlevania also went in this direction with the PS2. I did enjoy Drakengard back in the day, as well as Bujingai. God Hand kinda counts too, although its fisticuffs as opposed to weapon based combat. I just ordered a copy of Crimson Sea 2 which I am looking forward to trying after watching some videos. It's also by Koei but has a modern sci-fi feel to it - graphically it looked reminiscent of Phantasy Star Universe, but with more intense combat. In fact, you could probably lump PSO and PSU into this category if you look past the RPG elements and focus on the combat. Other examples I can think of include Nanobreaker, Genji, Ninety Nine Nights, Bayonetta, El Shaddai. I know there are many more though, and a lot of the above I've not played, so what are your favourites and why?

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Nightmare Creatures on PS1. I remember loving that. I don't remember much in the way of complex mechanics, and it had an awful jump and terrible platforming bits, but I loved hitting the crap out of a succession of werewolves and monsters with my monk staff.

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Maximo: Ghosts to Glory! Not since Taz-Mania on the Mega Drive did I push through a game despite such punishment.

(Maximo is a good game. Taz-Mania is as far from a good game as is possible given our current level of intelligence and technology.)

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Code masters' Die by The Sword was an oddity iirc the mouse controlled your sword swings

And was doing limb-based dismemberment long before Metal Gear. And remains the only game I've ever played where you could lose a leg but still hop on to victory...

I also had a soft spot for Severance: Blade of Darkness back in the day, though that was mainly for the (at the time) amazing lighting and shadow effects. Actually, looking at it now there are still an awful lot of games that don't deal with shadows as impressively as Severance did in terms of changing scale as well as angle based on the size and proximity of light sources.

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I imagine it's aged really badly and I don't remember it even reviewing that well back in the day (somewhere in the 7/10 region), but Crimson Sea was a bit of a guilty pleasure for me. Maybe calling it hack 'n' slash is a bit of a stretch since you had guns and Neo-Psionics, but it was nice and atmospheric and you could go nuts with all kinds of attacks. :)

EDIT: no idea if it's BC though :( ...there was also a PS2 sequel apparently but I haven't tried that.

Also, Bujingai was always one of those games I'd heard about but never found the courage to try out. Videos I've seen make it look pretty nice though (in a charming, lo-fi, 6th-gen way ;) )

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I'm going to recommend Onimusha. Imagine Resident Evil's single-screen, fixed perspective crossed with Ninja Gaiden's combat, and you've got a pretty good idea of what gameplay entails. I enjoyed the first entry in the series a great deal (Xbox version, called "Genma Onimusha", is the best choice - it has 60hz and extra gameplay).

It's interesting because it strikes a really good balance between exploration and combat. I'd even argue that it makes better use of the Resi Evil template than Resi does, because it gives you vastly more freedom of movement, thanks to the combat. Some say Onimusha 2 is the pinnacle of the series (I haven't got round to playing it yet) but I can definitely vouch for the first.

Just avoid the PS2 version - apparently it's a really sloppy PAL conversion, with big black borders and slowdown (this was before Capcom straightened out their act and put 60hz options in all their games).

I imagine it's aged really badly and I don't remember it even reviewing that well back in the day (somewhere in the 7/10 region), but Crimson Sea was a bit of a guilty pleasure for me. Maybe calling it hack 'n' slash is a bit of a stretch since you had guns and Neo-Psionics, but it was nice and atmospheric and you could go nuts with all kinds of attacks. :)

EDIT: no idea if it's BC though :( ...there was also a PS2 sequel apparently but I haven't tried that.

Also, Bujingai was always one of those games I'd heard about but never found the courage to try out. Videos I've seen make it look pretty nice though (in a charming, lo-fi, 6th-gen way ;) )

I remember Bujingai being a bit of a one-trick Pony. It was many years ago now, mind you, and if I played it in 2014, I might offer a different opinion. But the crux of gameplay seemed to hinge entirely on the counter/reversal system, and not a lot else.

Unless you're a huge fan of Gackt.

Anyone given Shinobi/Nightshade a fair shake on PS2? I'm curious to know how they hold up in the modern era.

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I didn't mind Genji (both the PS2 and the 'giant enemy crab/massive damage' PS3 version). Not great depth, but certainly playable. I also really liked Onimusha 3, despite not really being a fan of the earlier game on the Xbox (never tried Onimusha 2).

If you want hack-and-slash with some real-time strategy, then the Kingdom Under Fire games on the Xbox are good - and hard.

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There's quite a bit of pre-PS2 stuff, if you count the likes of Golden Axe, Dynasty Wars, Knights of the Round, etc, even if they were effectively brawlers with swords.

I always enjoyed the dismemberment-tastic combat in Eternal Darkness, even if the game itself wasn't strictly hack

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There's quite a bit of pre-PS2 stuff, if you count the likes of Golden Axe, Dynasty Wars, Knights of the Round, etc, even if they were effectively brawlers with swords.

Aren't they all 2d side scolling beat em ups? I don't really differentiate between swords/fists with those, but this thread is specifically for 3d games in which, generally, you view the action from behind the player character.
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Went back to Bujingai this afternoon. It still plays well, the controls are very fluid and the combat satisfying, though the moveset isn't as varied as I remembered. My main issue is with the size of the levels, they drag on a little and I kept getting lost.

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Aren't they all 2d side scolling beat em ups? I don't really differentiate between swords/fists with those, but this thread is specifically for 3d games in which, generally, you view the action from behind the player character.

Ah, OK. Thread title doesn't specify 3D. That would explain why there wasn't much pre-PS2.

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I properly loved Bujingai at the time - always had a soft spot for 3rd person hack and slash. Current/last gen but the DmC reboot was really, really good.

The first three Onimusha games were great - the first is probably the best but the 3rd one was a laugh for the sheer bat shit mental plot and Jean Reno. Would love to see a current gen reboot.

I also really rated the first Genji on PS2 (the PS3 sequel is best quietly forgotten mind).

Rygar was also ace - God of War via Japanese madness but loads of fun

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